BY DEXTER L. MCCREE, Feature Writer
ST. PETERSBURG – In honor of their mother and her love for the community, the late Emma Walker’s three daughters, Antionette L. Wiggins, Janice L. Grant and Kimberly A. Swain, will continue her work with All Kidney Patients Support Group (AKPSG) by providing scholarships for those with renal failure.
Becoming a dialysis patient in 2006 after complications from heart surgery, Mrs. Walker did not let her weekly dialysis treatments slow her down. She loved to travel, visit family and friends but most importantly she loved to give back to her community. In 2009, Janice Starling-Williams and Mrs. Walker founded the AKPSG for local patients.
Mrs. Walker unexpectedly passed away on May 30 from end stage renal disease and other causes. On Tuesday, the foundation received the first $1,000 check in support of its efforts in the community in her honor.
“We are thankful to Emma’s family for their continual support of AKPSG,” said Starling-Williams.
The AKPSG program teaches patients to live a quality life, share their life experiences, bring awareness to the community and to advocate for all chronic kidney disease and end stage renal disease patients.
Their primary goal is to educate, help patients financially with transportation, food, caregiving, pre and post-transplant needs and any other needs dialysis patients face day to day. AKPSG also provide respite care when the caregiver request some needed rest. Caregiver fees are not covered by home health care.
AKPSG is a not for profit, patient-centered, peer organization that provides non-medical support to those affected by chronic kidney disease. They strive to help patients develop their voice to be better involved with their doctors, dialysis centers and caregivers with the information and education they need to improve personal coping skills, health outcomes and by educating and empowering them and their family members to take control of the course and management of the disease.
Walker’s daughters have committed to donating $1,000 to the support group each year. AKPSG will then award two $500 scholarships each school year beginning this year. The scholarship gives another person hope and encouragement to keep striving.